Say you have written an article of 25 pages. It is pretty common that you submit a short version (12 pages) of your article to a conference and have the full version uploaded somewhere or attached as an electronic companion.

How to best manage these two versions? It is a very bad idea to have two files (say intro_short.tex and intro_full.tex), since you have to reproduce changes. What first came to mind is to surround paragraphs with an environment \begin{full_version_only}... \end{full_version_only}. This sounds very tedious.

Does anyone have a better suggestion?


  • On one hand, what you say makes infinite sense, to keep a single working document that can produce 2 versions. The problem is that anyone that you submit to is not going to want to have all the extraneous (excised) data in the file. – Steven B. Segletes Mar 6 '18 at 19:09
  • Here is someone who really does not like seeing authors submitting a shorter version of a paper, seeing the note by the arXiv admin that there is substantial text overlap. What is that good for? If you have a new result, write a new paper, if not, let it be, there are more than enough papers on the net. (I of course understand that some people do this in order to increase their citation index, but I don't think that is good practice.) – marmot Mar 6 '18 at 19:19
  • You mistake my meaning. I am thinking of conferences where they make you submit at most 9-12 pages. Given this constraint, you are forced to have both a short version and a full version. – Rostov Mar 6 '18 at 19:44
  • I am usually using a switcher (\newif, \newcounter) controlled by an external program (bash, Makefile). I use echo, e.g. echo "\\counter=1" >file.tex, in bash generating a file, which is then loaded by \input file.tex. If you would like to have a minimal example, let me know. – Malipivo Mar 6 '18 at 22:15
  • 1
    I'm not sure this is a good idea. In my experience, when I write a short version of a paper, the whole paper undergoes substantial edits. It rarely makes sense to just cut out whole paragraphs, for example. (Or if your paper still makes sense, you probably didn't need those paragraphs in the long version.) – TH. Mar 18 '18 at 3:46

You could use a boolean variable which tell LaTeX which version to print and test it, like here:


%\setboolean{shortver}{true}% for short version 
\setboolean{shortver}{false}% for long version


    \section{Short version}
    \section{Long version}

    This line will be printed both in short version and in long version.

    This line will be printed only in short version
    This line will be printed only in long version 

    You can have also paragraphs. 

    Of course, the short version content is not mandatory.

enter image description here

And with:

\setboolean{shortver}{true}% for short version 
%\setboolean{shortver}{false}% for long version

enter image description here

  • This is more or less what I had in mind. I wonder if there is a better way :( – Rostov Mar 12 '18 at 19:11
  • @Rostov At most you can create a new command, but, since nobody else answered, I doubt there's a better method, unfortunately... – CarLaTeX Mar 12 '18 at 19:16

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